Scotland’s optrometrists looking ahead as lockdown eases

Optometrists are now able to see patients face to face for emergency and essential appointments due to the easing of lockdown measures.

Monday, 29th June 2020, 4:05 pm
Optrometrists are looking forward to beginning to welcome patients back into a safe and controlled environment. Photo: bspence81 from Pixabay

Practices have been issued PPE from NHS stocks while arrangements have also been made to ensure social distancing. Routine eyecare services remain paused.

The temporary emergency eyecare treatment centres, which have been operating throughout lockdown, have now been closed.

Health secretary Jeane Freeman said: “The resumption of face-to-face care in optometry practices is an important step in the remobilisation of community eye care services.

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“If anyone has concerns about their vision, they should continue to phone their local practice for advice.

“Patients will once again be able to be seen locally if they have a pressing eye care issue: this is good not only for patients, but for optometry practices.

“I wish to thank community optometry practices and staff for all the work they have done during the response to the pandemic, caring for patients remotely and staffing the Emergency Eyecare Treatment Centres.

“They are key to the delivery of eye care in Scotland, and have demonstrated they are a vital and valued part of the wider health service.”

Optometry Scotland chairman David Quigley added: “In working closely with and receiving support from the Scottish Government, community opticians and optometrists have continued to deliver vital eye care services across Scotland throughout the pandemic.

“As we move out of lockdown, we look forward to beginning to welcome patients back into a safe and controlled environment.

“We urge all patients to contact their optician by telephone as a first port of call, and a face to face appointment will be made for them if necessary.”